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Clermont firefighters honored a long-standing tradition while memorializing a former assistant fire chief last week, when they held a Push-Back Ceremony for their newest engine, a $1-million, 2016 Pierce Velocity, 100-foot aerial tower truck.

The new truck, which includes a platform, replaces an older model. The fire department needs a tower truck to reach some of the taller buildings that are now in the city, such as South Lake Hospital, which plans an expansion, and Crane's View Lodge, a five-story assisted living facility.

The new fire engine was dedicated to Assistant Fire Chief April Hoover, who died of cancer October 9, 2008. Her name and date of death are memorialized on the side of the new truck. Her brother, Jason Perrigo, was in attendance.

The ceremony took place at Fire Station No. 3, at 2155 Legends Way in Clermont, across from the National Training Center's athletic fields.

The origin of pushing a fire truck into the station dates back to the time of horse-drawn engines when firefighters had to push the fire pumpers into the station because horses could only pull forward.

Clermont dedicates new aerial fire truck in
memory of Assistant Fire Chief April Hoover
Firefighters, friends and family of the Clermont Fire Department push the new aerial truck just commissioned into Station 3. The truck was dedicated in memory of the late Assistant Fire Chief April Hoover. (Photo by Wendy Burkett)
Daryl Hyatt
Aerial Truck 103
Clermont aerial truck pushback ceremony
Aerial Truck Truck 103 was acquired to meet the needs of the new, taller buildings within the City of Clermont. Battalion Chief Daryl Hyatt spoke at the dedication of the new truck in memory of Assistant Fire Chief April Hoover. Friends an family gathered in front of the engine after the Push Back Ceremony. (Photos by Wendy Burkett)

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